2019 political insights

by John Mickel, Advisor Government Relations

Published on
April 4, 2019

Recent changes in the metropolitan media landscape mean that local and state political commentary is almost completely overshadowed by a discussion about federal politics.

Local government

Operation Belcarra and the Crime and Corruption Commission have cut a swathe through some councils and are likely to continue to impact local operations.

The dismissal of Ipswich Council, the Logan Mayor under investigation, and ongoing investigation in some of the outer metropolitan councils, coupled with the ban on developer donations, have resulted in development approvals being slower than normal.

With statewide council elections due in March 2020 and further changes foreshadowed to local government donations and electoral systems, we anticipate a difficult scenario for prospective development applications.

State government

At a state government level, the Premier remains personally popular with a stable government. The Opposition recently expelled one of its members after allegations of sexual assault, but is finding it difficult to gain traction in a media cycle dominated by federal politics.

We anticipate if there is a change of government at the upcoming federal election, and the ALP is then the party in power at both a state and federal level, the federal government will continue to dominate the news.

This presents an opportunity for the LNP in Queensland to then criticise the Opposition at both a state and federal level.

The date of the next state election is set for 31 October 2020. This is the beginning of fixed four-year terms voted on in a statewide referendum at the last election in late 2017.

Federal government

A federal election is due in May this year and at this time, all independent analysis suggests there will be a change of government.

Let’s look at the maths:

  • After redistributions and growth in some states, the House of Representatives has been expanded by one seat to 151— one extra in Victoria and the ACT, and the loss of one seat in South Australia.
  • After a by-election loss last year in Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth and with the redistribution taken into account, the federal government enters the upcoming election with 73 LNP seats, 72 Labor seats and six cross-benchers.
  • The transactional cost of the change of Prime Minister has resulted in the retirement of ministers and backbenchers in key marginal seats. For example, parachuting Warren Mundine into the seat of Gilmore — which the LNP holds by a margin of less than one per cent — after Ann Sudmalis announced her resignation, makes the LNP Government’s re-election prospects very difficult.

The senate

The House of Representatives election is also accompanied by an election for half the senate.

The senate election is by proportional vote and with only half the senate up for re-election, the quota required to be elected is higher than last time, and more difficult for minor parties.

Our prediction is for a change of government federally, however the new government will not have a majority in the senate.